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Richmond Park News: 21 April 2023

I hope all of my Hindu and Sikh constituents enjoyed celebrating Vaisakhi last week. And I send best wishes for Eid Al-Fitr to Muslim constituents enjoying the end of Ramadan this weekend.


On Tuesday, I took part in the Committee Stage of the Finance Bill. This legislation brings the measures from the Spring Budget into legal effect.

I took this opportunity to once again highlight the Government’s failure to bring down inflation by supporting businesses with energy costs. The Government cut energy support for businesses by 85% this month, which means that thousands of businesses are now forced to pass increased costs onto their consumers by raising prices. Amidst Government inaction, the latest inflation figures that came out this week show inflation is remaining stubbornly high at above 10%.

I also called for the Chancellor to restore tax credits to small and medium sized businesses that invest in research and development, after they were cut drastically last Autumn. The business community has been vocal about the damage caused by this decision and I am disappointed to see a lack of movement from the Government. Instead of a full restoration, the Government has only targeted tax credits at “research intensive” firms. Industry groups have warned that this new policy could lead to less innovation across the economy more widely. I also urged the Government to look at introducing further tax breaks for measures that are proven to boost productivity, such as training, digital adoption and energy efficiency.

You can watch a short clip of my contribution here, or read a full transcript here.


On Monday evening, I appeared on LBC Cross Questions, a panel debate show hosted by Iain Dale.

Among the education topics discussed were the Prime Minister’s proposals to require maths instruction until the age of 18, and the ongoing industrial action by teachers and junior doctors. I raised a particular point on financial literacy. Although I am strongly in favour of measures to support numeracy, I do not believe the Government’s plan is the right one. I would like to see a stronger emphasis put on teaching students the basic principles of accounting, to offer instruction that will help them make sound personal financial decisions as they grow older.

I also took the time to challenge the Conservative Party Chairman’s assertion that public services in the U.K. are in ‘great shape.' This comment shows just out of touch how many Conservative MPs are. Their continuous budget cuts have left many of my constituents struggling to get a GP appointment, waiting hours in A&E or waiting months or even years to get mental health care for their children. You can see a clip of this section here.

I am delighted to be appearing on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’ programme this evening. Should constituents wish to listen in, they can do so here, or by tuning into BBC Radio 4 at 8pm. If you miss the programme live, you will be able to catch up here.